Bradford on Film

The Yorkshire Film Archive are working in partnership with Bradford Cathedral to bring you a fantastic new event as part of the Cathedral’s centenary celebrations. Whether you are a born and bred Bradfordian, or a newcomer to this great city, then don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the ‘Bradford on Film’ archive screening at Bradford Cathedral on Friday 4th October 2019.

Selected from a remarkable collection of archive films from the 20th century, Bradford on Film reveals a fascinating portrait of the city. From early moving image pioneers to local filmmaking companies, amateur productions to regional television programmes preserved by the Yorkshire Film Archive, the event opens a window onto local communities and landmark events, as well as capturing the sights, sounds, faces, places, changing landscapes and industries, great events and everyday lives of people in Bradford.

The Bradford on Film journey begins in 1896 with a bustling Town Hall Square, during the earliest days of filmmaking, and takes us through to the colourful Festival Mela in 1998.  Over 100 years of moving image history will be revealed, including a day out to Shipley Glen, Haworth and Saltaire, rare images of the city festooned in bunting for the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935, and the fresh-faced University of Bradford students of the 1960s. Experience the jubilation of VE and VJ Day celebrations across the city, followed by the post-war regeneration and renewal, the heyday of the textile industry, plus much, much more!

Graham Relton, Yorkshire Film Archive Manager said:

“My biggest challenge curating the Bradford on Film screening has been what to leave out: captured in the frames of film preserved in our vaults are thousands of moving images showing how the people of Bradford grew up, worked and played. It really is a privilege to be able to present these films at the beautiful Bradford cathedral; these images connect with audiences in a very special way and events like this are a perfect opportunity to come together to share collective memories and possibly spot a familiar face caught on film.”

Bradford is steeped in film history with Room at the Top, Billy Liar and the Railway Children synonymous with the city. But it’s not all about the feature films – local filmmakers like Fred Dewhirst, commissioned to make films by businessman and Councillor Bob Sharp, alongside professional companies like the much-loved CH Wood Ltd have recorded the changing face of the city, leaving a great legacy for us to enjoy.

Packed full of unseen and newly-curated content, Bradford on Film will also bring to the big screen the stories of local characters like Mohamed Fazal Hussain, elder statesman and a wannabe film mogul of Bradford's Muslim community, as well as local heroes like Stuart McCall and Terry Yorath who feature in the 1986 Yorkshire Television documentary Bradford City – A Year of Healing, a moving programme that displays Bradford’s extraordinary determination to carry on after the tragic and shocking 1985 Valley Parade fire: a tribute to those who lost their lives.

The Very Revd. Jerry Lepine, Dean of Bradford, said: 

"Bradford Cathedral, as the oldest building in the centre of Bradford, holds the story of the city, so it is wholly appropriate that this screening all about the heritage of Bradford through film is shown here. I would encourage people to come along to learn more about their city through the marvellous film that has been put together by the team at the Yorkshire Film Archive. I'm looking forward to taking a trip back in time to see how Bradford has changed over the last 100 years since the Parish Church of St. Peter became Bradford Cathedral."

It’s been over six years since the Yorkshire Film Archive last presented a big screening in the city, so don’t miss this 2019 event which includes lots of different material.  Join us for an unforgettable evening to celebrate Bradford Cathedral’s Centenary by taking a journey through Bradford’s rich and diverse film heritage.

The ‘Bradford on Film’ screening takes place at Bradford Cathedral, 1 Stott Hill, Bradford, BD1 4EH on Friday 4th October at 7pm.  Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite: or you can book your place by calling Bradford Cathedral on 01274 77 77 20, or by visiting the Cathedral office between 8:30am and 5pm.